Venezuela Wants Him Dead

Flag_of_VenezuelaIn Venezuela, where “bad luck” has inexplicably dogged the top-down national socialist “Bolivarian” government, caudillo Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, the late unlamented Hugo Chávez, could forgive former Venezuelan colonel Gustavo Díaz for trying to overthrow the dictatorial regime.

Hey, tanks in the street are the regular elections of Latin America.

But they can never forgive him for what he did after that: create a website that publishes real-world, blackmarket exchange rates for Venezuela’s hyperinflated currency, the Bolivar. They want him dead, and have already sentenced him to imprisonment as Phase I. But they can’t reach him: he’s here. The Wall Street Journal (try this google walkaround of the paywall):

Public Enemy No. 1 of Venezuela’s revolutionary government is Gustavo Díaz, a Home Depot Inc. employee in central Alabama.

On his lunch breaks from the hardware section, Mr. Díaz, 60 years old, does more than anyone else to set the price of everything from rice to aspirin to cars in his native Venezuela, influencing the inflation rate and swaying millions of dollars of daily currency transactions.

How? He is president of one of Venezuela’s most popular and insurgent websites, DolarToday.com, which provides a benchmark exchange rate used by his compatriots to buy and sell black-market dollars. That allows them to bypass some of the world’s most rigid currency controls.

via Venezuela’s Nemesis Is a Hardware Salesman at a Home Depot in Alabama – WSJ.

Printing worthless currency debases the currency, something only about half of economists and exactly zero would-be dictators seem to grasp. So they define the problem, not as the worthlessness of the unsupported scrip, but the cheek of the boy who points out that the Emperor, in this case Nicolás Maduro, is bare-ass naked. It’s not making Díaz rich, so why does he do it?

“To me, it’s still a passionate daily fight against totalitarianism,” said Mr. Díaz.

Ah! Explains it. Keep rockin’, mi coronel. Confusion to our enemies!

7 thoughts on “Venezuela Wants Him Dead

  1. James

    I read about Col. Diaz a few days back and thought”Keep it up Col.!”My guess is to block him they will need to pull the net to best of ability,that should get the economy going though!

  2. morokko

    When I read about ex latino-american colonels and coup organizers I see gent clad in white suit and panama, sipping wine in his colossal hacienda, guarded by dobermans and armed goons, outfitted with private helipad and optional underground drug refinery. Do I watch too many B movies or does this guy is really too honest for his own good?

    1. Sommerbiwak

      This ex-Coronel has more moral integrity than most people I’d say. Sadly you often get shafted for doing the right thing. :-(

    2. John M.

      I think it may depend on how close they were to the pharmaceutical industry. And how forward-thinking they were with the proceeds from same.

      -John M.

  3. Toastrider

    Does he have a Paypal account? I’d be happy to drop an early Christmas present in his stocking. Hell, I’d buy him dinner if he lived nearby.

  4. Badger

    “Printing worthless currency debases the currency, something only about half of economists and exactly zero would-be dictators seem to grasp.” Precisely; maybe the Mises Institute will give him a stealth job pointing out the, uh, nakedness of the US saturation bombing of a fiat paper currency with the same trend.

    Go Colonel Go!

  5. TRX

    The reason we use money is that it’s more convenient than barter. I trade X hours of labor for Y number of currency units, which I then exchange for Z products or services. It’s simpler than swapping chickens or babysitting and trying to account for it all.

    However… that’s the sort of thing that databases and a planetwide communications network could be good at…

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